Date published: Mon 23 Apr 2018
Author: B. Gibson-Patteux
Whitgift’s U19 table tennis team, double national champions in their age category, headed off to Malta, in April, for the 2018 International School Sport Federation (ISF) World Schools’ Table Tennis Championships. Whitgift’s team of James Smith, George Hazell, Reiss Vydelingum and Jason Kwok had earned selection by winning the U19 ESTTA Butterfly Table Tennis national title for the last two years. Whitgift was one of 32 teams that made it through to the national finals in Hinckley, Leicester, in March, out of a pool of 286 competing schools.
Whilst in Malta, James reached the World Schools’ Table Tennis Mixed Doubles Quarter Finals, narrowly losing to fellow England player, Joe Clark, and his Belgium partner, who went on to win the prestigious Friendship Doubles World Title.
Earlier in the week, James had lead the all-Whitgift team, with his fellow U19 aficionados, to a creditable 13th place, representing England in the Team Championships.
Whitgift’s Head of Table Tennis, Mr Simon Beck, said, “The boys have worked extremely hard over the past three years under the exceptional coaching of Mr Goran Maric. The Worlds was an experience of a life time and the boys did amazingly well to gain a very credible finishing position.”
Also during the Easter holidays, was Whitgift representation at the British Primary Schools’ International Championships in Largs, Scotland. Oliver Maric-Murray was part of a five-strong English team. They played Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Guernsey and Isle of Man, defeating Scotland and Ireland 9-1 and registering 10-0 victories over the other nations to top the table. Oliver played superbly in his U11 category and finished off with an individual silver medal as well.
There was another great weekend of table tennis at the ESTTA National Individual Finals, in Wolverhampton last week. Well done again to Oliver who won U11 gold, as well as George Hazell for his U19 bronze.
James Smith’s next endeavour is England representation at the Spanish Open from the 9-12 May. Whitgift wishes him the best of luck.